Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-03-2020, 05:19 PM   #161
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default United States Joint Special Operations Command and Vile Vortices

Does anyone know what the closest areas to the established Vile Vortices would be for Special Mission Units (SMU) operating under JSOC?

It occurred to me that too few of the 'Night Rider' NPCs who had been introduced had some kind of supernatural experience while serving in the military and I should probably take care that at least some of the former Navy SEALs, Marine Critical Skills Operators or Special Forces operators featured had encountered something during their military service.

As the official position of the US government is that no supernatural powers or creatures exist, operators who have paranormal encounters, succeed in their Will checks against the Facade and refuse to back down with what they saw tend to find themselves removed from operational status for psychological reasons. And Kessler's network of occult troubleshooters are always ready to snap up a good recruit with that kind of expensive training and a proven ability to handle the inexplicable.

I was thinking about a veteran of DEVGRU who might have operated in Afghanistan or the tribal areas in Pakistan when he had an encounter traceable to the Vile Vortex centered on the Indus Valley. The problem is that I don't have a good idea of how much of Pakistan is covered by that Vile Vortex, if it stretches into Afghanistan, etc.

Judging by the pictures already appearing in this thread, it seems that quite a lot of Pakistan would be affected. I'm not bound by the exact measurements provided by the large-scale maps Sanderson used, but unless given a compelling reason to deviate from his theories, would prefer to pay some lip service to them.

Can anyone savvy in converting the huge and imprecise world map seen in pictures like this tell me approximately how far the edges of the area should be from the ruins of the Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan if we were to assume that it was the center?

And where would I find the closest areas where US Special Operations Forces (SOF) might have operated extensively in during the past two decades?

Are there any places in Afghanistan that have seen a lot of fighting and are near any archeological remains of the Harappan / Indus Valley Civilization / Rama Empire?
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 03-03-2020 at 05:43 PM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 10:40 PM   #162
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: United States Joint Special Operations Command and Vile Vortices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Can anyone savvy in converting the huge and imprecise world map seen in pictures like this tell me approximately how far the edges of the area should be from the ruins of the Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan if we were to assume that it was the center?

And where would I find the closest areas where US Special Operations Forces (SOF) might have operated extensively in during the past two decades?

Are there any places in Afghanistan that have seen a lot of fighting and are near any archeological remains of the Harappan / Indus Valley Civilization / Rama Empire?
You can look up the latitude and longitude of those sites yourself in an atlas or Wikipedia and do your best to figure out what the latitude is supposed to be. I suspect that it won't be as tidy as in Ivan Sanderson's map, so the only logical conclusion is that the Vile Vortices are governed by cosmic geography that mostly but not quite maps onto ours! The Facade causes us fun-ruiners to see a false shadow-geography where things do not quite work not the true cosmic geography where all is as beautiful and harmonious as a rapier rotating from a close tierce to an extended quarte. Coincidentally, that gives the GM some room to fudge the size and shape of each vortex in the direction of cool.

Once you have the 'ideal' numbers for the three corners of the Indus Vortex, plug them into an online tool like Stepmap, enclose the area, post the map, and you might get more specific advice on which way it needs to be twisted and what sites are inside.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 10:52 PM   #163
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

In fact, are you sure Sanderson does not give instructions for plotting them? Back before cable news or Internet taking a crazy book and a world map and following its instructions and seeing "wow, it has the Bermuda Triangle and Mohenjo-Daro" was a way to kill an afternoon.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 12:58 AM   #164
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Vile Vortices and World Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
In fact, are you sure Sanderson does not give instructions for plotting them? Back before cable news or Internet taking a crazy book and a world map and following its instructions and seeing "wow, it has the Bermuda Triangle and Mohenjo-Daro" was a way to kill an afternoon.
I am not sure that he never did so, but this link here is to Ivan T. Sanderson's original article and at least there, he gives no such instructions.

In fact, the accompanying map seems to be but one way to imagine these 'Vile Vortices' or 'Devil's Graveyards', so nearly any twisting, turning or re-jiggering of them would seem implicitly supported by the source material.

For example, I'm shamelessly supposing that the 'Bermuda Triangle' is more of a lozenge and consequently covers most of the Caribbean. For consistency, I suppose that I should consider having all the 'Vile Vortices' be lozenge-shaped, which, at least in terms of the two in Africa, only aids my cause by ensuring additional coverage.

In general, covering large amounts of land and sea is good, unless this would include densely inhabited modern urban areas with largely secular, skeptical people, low crime rates and general lack of the kind of oddness that should characterize a settlement within a Vile Vortex. In other words, having Vile Vortices cover large parts of Africa or the Caribbean poses no problems of plausibility or having the world of the setting diverge too far from our world, because both places feature a population where belief in the supernatural is largely commonplace. Even sizable cities like Port-au-Prince or Maputo may safely be placed within Vile Vortices, as most of their inhabitants believe in supernatural forces as a matter of course.

I get the feeling that the Pakistan Vile Vortex, especially if it stretches into India, would cover much more in the way of densely populated areas than any of the other Vile Vortices. Areas, where, moreover, I have not done any research on prevailing attitudes toward the paranormal, general health and safety, oddness or any other factors. So, one hand, it would probably be best to minimize the extent of the Indian subcontinent Vile Vortex. On the other hand, if logical and justifiable in some way, having huge swathes of tribal territory in Pakistan or Afghanistan, as well as of the Hindu Kush, exist within a Vile Vortex was hardly going to cause any plausibility problem, considering the low population densities and unsafe conditions.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 07:22 AM   #165
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Map of the Pakistan Vile Vortex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
You can look up the latitude and longitude of those sites yourself in an atlas or Wikipedia and do your best to figure out what the latitude is supposed to be. I suspect that it won't be as tidy as in Ivan Sanderson's map, so the only logical conclusion is that the Vile Vortices are governed by cosmic geography that mostly but not quite maps onto ours! The Facade causes us fun-ruiners to see a false shadow-geography where things do not quite work not the true cosmic geography where all is as beautiful and harmonious as a rapier rotating from a close tierce to an extended quarte. Coincidentally, that gives the GM some room to fudge the size and shape of each vortex in the direction of cool.
Happily, the edges of the Vile Vortices wax and wane according to invisible tides unknown to even the most accomplished occultist. Also, it is a matter of esoteric definition whether one classifies a given territory as within a Vile Vortex or merely close to it and therefore suffering unusual paranormal phenomena and increased ley line potency as a side-effect.

Different theorists among Kessler's people define the 'Bermuda Triangle' (variously envisioned as either lozenge or square, with some arguing for much more complex and shifting shapes) as being anywhere from 150,000 square miles to 4,500,000 square miles, with at least one arguing that it has been at all of these sizes during different time periods.

There is no reason to expect more precision when dealing with Vile Vortices they know even less about. Imagine the occultists who subscribe to the Vile Vortex theory as meteorologists trying to map storms; but going only by reports, open-source intelligence and various ancillary factors that correlate with storm fronts, because they don't have access to any measuring devices that can actually chart the weather in real time.

The 'Pakistan' Vile Vortex is assumed to exist somewhere between 20 N and 35 N latitude and 61 E and 76 E longitude. I genuinely haven't established any more detail than that, but I have some vague idea about wanting to include all of the ancient Indus Valley sites within it, but also wanting to avoid having it cover too much of the more densely populated areas of India and Pakistan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Once you have the 'ideal' numbers for the three corners of the Indus Vortex, plug them into an online tool like Stepmap, enclose the area, post the map, and you might get more specific advice on which way it needs to be twisted and what sites are inside.
Oooh, if I could make maps like that, I'd be very happy.

Would you recommend that I sign up for Stepmap?

I have so little artistic talent that back in grade school, I was once sent to the principal's office for 'mocking' the arts and crafts teacher, who didn't believe that the caricatured stick figures I was drawing represented the absolute height of my artistic capabilities. I have not improved since and never learned to use a single digital photo-manipulation or map-making tool.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 03:56 PM   #166
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Map of the Pakistan Vile Vortex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Oooh, if I could make maps like that, I'd be very happy.

Would you recommend that I sign up for Stepmap?

I have so little artistic talent that back in grade school, I was once sent to the principal's office for 'mocking' the arts and crafts teacher, who didn't believe that the caricatured stick figures I was drawing represented the absolute height of my artistic capabilities. I have not improved since and never learned to use a single digital photo-manipulation or map-making tool.
Its free, they have not spammed me, and you can just type in decimal latitude and longitude to mark a location. You have to click on points by hand to draw a polygon and it does not show all the modern cities by default but you can strip the lat and long for all the archaeological sites off Wikipedia (its in the upper right corner of the article on a full-sized screen, here is Mojendo-Daro).

In the first linked map there are 5 vortices per hemisphere, occupying about 1/4 of the line of longitude, so each is 18 degrees wide (360 / 5 * 4). So the vertices for northern vortices on that map are {lat X degrees North, long Y-9 degrees East} {lat x+9 degrees North, long y+9 degrees East} {lat x-9 degrees north, long y+9 degrees north} But no crazy theory is complete without multiple variations! Wikipedia has a version where the vortices are defined by two lines of latitude and two of longitude so you would need four points each 15-18 degrees apart.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper

Last edited by Polydamas; 03-05-2020 at 04:03 PM.
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 04:05 PM   #167
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

Here is an example of such a map on Stepmap.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 04:58 PM   #168
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Map of the Pakistan Vile Vortex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Its free, they have not spammed me, and you can just type in decimal latitude and longitude to mark a location. You have to click on points by hand to draw a polygon and it does not show all the modern cities by default but you can strip the lat and long for all the archaeological sites off Wikipedia (its in the upper right corner of the article on a full-sized screen, here is Mojendo-Daro).
Cool, thanks. I'll sign up and try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
In the first linked map there are 5 vortices per hemisphere, occupying about 1/4 of the line of longitude, so each is 18 degrees wide (360 / 5 * 4). So the vertices for northern vortices on that map are {lat X degrees North, long Y-9 degrees East} {lat x+9 degrees North, long y+9 degrees East} {lat x-9 degrees north, long y+9 degrees north} But no crazy theory is complete without multiple variations! Wikipedia has a version where the vortices are defined by two lines of latitude and two of longitude so you would need four points each 15-18 degrees apart.
Well, I'm pretty sure that I don't want major effects extending into too much of the huge cities in the area. I'm prepared to swallow as much rural Pakistan and Afghanistan as possible, even a bit of India and Iran if necessary, and I don't mind miles and miles of the Arabian Sea fitting into the lozenge shape either, but I should probably avoid such cities as Lahore, New Delhi, Mumbai and the like, unless I absolutely can't get the effect I want (and then I should be selective with the cities included).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
This is pretty much Pakistan, more or less as a whole, with not much of other countries included, no?

Slight bit of Iran, a touch of Afghan border.

I'm not wedded to Mohendo-daro being in the real center, just that it was arguably the epicenter of one conception.

What I want seems to be a slightly smaller triangle, shifted a bit west to swallow a good part of Afghanistan, and another triangle added to the south, so it forms a lozenge (and gets me Arabian Sea goodies).
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 03-05-2020 at 05:48 PM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2020, 04:45 AM   #169
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

Given the interaction between magic, technology and rationalism I'd expect that a city near what would be the edge of a vortex might push the edge in a bit.
dcarson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2020, 04:59 AM   #170
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Given the interaction between magic, technology and rationalism I'd expect that a city near what would be the edge of a vortex might push the edge in a bit.
Exactly right. The edges won't be regular and the more secular, high-technology and safe the city is, the less likely that the Vile Vortex will extend into it. Except, of course, for a few neighborhoods, during the occasional witching hour...
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ken hite, modern, monster hunters, suppressed transmission, vile vortices

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.